Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by chilango, Feb 19, 2017.
None of that addresses the point mather was making
Yes it does. Elect a Corbyn government & the left can go from there. This is more important than brexit however brexit finishes up. Radical policies are all for nothing if they cannot be implemented.
No it doesn't. Mather's point was that you, someone who considers themselves on 'the left' if not an actual socialist(?), has accepted and regurgitated the language and philosophy of liberalism.
You haven't addressed that at all, instead just posted some stuff about Corbyn and the need to convert the masses.
So how do we get from where we are now to where you want to be? Why not elect a labour government & go from there? Why can we not take our near neighbours with us as well? France has always had a left wing movement for example. The purpose of the left is to make working class lives better. You don’t have to give it names you just have to find ways of achieving the objective.
Well, for me the main problem with that is that I've heard it before. Indeed, it has been the promise ever since Labour started as an electoral force. Over a hundred years ago. And yet we never did "go from there"; it was always an end in itself.
(The one time there was any progress - the post-War welfare state consensus - progress would have happened either way. The welfare state was founded by a Report written by a Liberal before the Atlee government was even elected. The historic moment that made the demand a reality was the return from war, and the unstoppable demand from the working class. This had been built up by working class activism and demands over many years. The post war consensus was the compromise between capital and labour - small l - that was coming anyway. And it was a consensus that lasted until the 70s, when it began to be dismantled by Callaghan, the first monetarist prime minister).
I think we are hoping for a different Labour this time though? Nu Labour was stealing Tory clothes to be electable for the time that was then. This is now though & What Corbyn offers is rather more left wing. Whether he delivers in government we wait & see. We would hope that a Labour government would have rather more to offer the low paid than the Tories though & it’s the low paid & poorly housed that need help fairly quickly.
What I cannot understand when some on this forum are critical of others who would welcome a Labour government is what do they want instead in the short term, surely not another Tory government? Reason I mention that is that I remember from the 70s left wing activists saying they were happy to have a Tory government because it would make the country more ready for revolution more quickly. Oddly this is the closest this country has come to some sort of revolution since then. We have quite unstable politics & the possibility of a fairly left wing Labour government in the nearish future when earlier this yr it was claimed we were heading for a one party Tory state.
So support the election the election of a Labour government & go from there. Surely it will be more fertile ground for left wing activism if we have at least a slightly socialist leaning government?
Why you are asking this? It's irrelevant to mather's point. Whether one sees the LP as a good vehicle for pro-labour politics or not, one doesn't have to accept and repeat liberal ideology. What is sane about a policy based on 'free trade'? You can be a committed member of the LP and still attack the nonsense that is free trade.
But for your questions:
As I've already said, working class power is the only force that can bring about the changes that I wish.
What does 'elect a [L]abour government and go from there' mean? Does it mean voting Labour in elections, and if so which elections? Or does it mean more? I've already talked about the problem of making Labour the agent of change rather than labour, danny la rouge has outlined some of the past reasons for being skeptical of why a focus on the LP is a mistake, but what are you actually asking here?
What do you mean by 'left wing'? Who is 'the left'? Is the French Socialist Party, that has spent the last decade (and more) attacking the French working class, left wing? Personally I think the term is not just useless but actually unhelpful, obscuring the differences between liberalism, social democracy and socialism. Those are different ideologies and to pretend the differences between them is only a matter of names is not true. This is not an argument for ideological purity, there will be points of agreement, there will be groups that span a range of ideologies, but it's fallacious to argue that those differences are irrelevant.
Because the previous Labour government was centrist. Corbyn has always been more left wing. Or just forget about terms like left wing & go with the fix that is needed for this country? Corbyn is offering something different that is attracting support because he is offering what is needed by the lower paid. There is a good chance that the next government will be Labour then they will be expected to deliver on their manifesto commintments. Whether they can do that remains to be seen but it won’t happen until they are elected.
The mood of country seems to be divided between those that need a change in government to change their lives for the better & those whose lives are ok & fear a change of government will change their lives for the worse but a Labour government is now looking very possible.
But danny la rouge didn't mention New Labour he talked about the history of the LP "ever since Labour started as an electoral force". We're talking about 100+ years of history here.
EDIT: Moreover, we can look at history of Labour's sister parties around the globe (PS in France, ALP in Australia, Labor in NZ etc) and see the same behaviour.
So working class power can elect a Labour government but first the working class need to engage & vote. Probably the referendum showed people that their vote could make a difference & I think many of them voted for the first time then. They voted for the second time to cause the unexpected result at the last GE so now they know it can be done. If they elect a Labour government at next GE then they will have proof that engagement works when before they saw no purpose in joining in the political process.
Sounds like working class power to me. Why would that not be a good thing & why would not people in other European countries see that & see it as a good thing? If you cannot at least see the possibilities there then how will the changes that you wish for ever realistcally come to fruition?
None of that really deals with the point I made about free trade.
This rather shows the problem, you're assuming that the working class isn't engaged, voting becomes engagement, joining in the political process means joining in the party political process. And the end result of all that is to elect the LP. As danny said getting the LP in government becomes the end not the means.
Why could getting the LP into government not be the means to begin to bring about change? How else could it be done then? Tell me the gist of how you think it could be otherwise achieved in a reasonable time scale to help those who are most in need of that change?
I was a teenager in the 60s/70s & very much part of what might be called the counter culture then so yes I did embrace everything that was liberal & left wing. I have always seen wrong & wanted it made right. Thats why I went on anti Vietnam war demos outside the US embassy then & thats why I want people I know now not to have to spend half their income on rent. So yes liberal & left wing I am.
I have now found & re read the post that contained the small part of it you quoted. Quoting just that part does take it slightly out of context. Probably the sanity prevails thing about staying in the single market was intended to mean backing away from the upheaval of brexit & addressing social issues in the UK that badly need fixing. I can’t remember. The quoted post was made 2.5 mnths ago.
As I have pointed out before I find deep political & economic theory difficult to grasp. I’m sure I’m not alone with this but you still need me & millions like me to be part of bringing about change. Free trade? With whom? The world? Our near neighbours? I can’t really see problems with trading with France or Holland. These are countries I go to & visit friends where they live. Perhaps I’m wrong? Explain what is wrong with free trade between adjoining countries? The trade in fresh fruit & veg from Holland to UK on a daily basis is worth £billions & goes on 24/7. We will never be self sufficient in fresh produce so we need to import some of it. Any disruption to that that increases supermarket prices will affect those on low incomes the most of course.
Here's a brief comparison Callaghan/Corbyn.
Top tax band in 1974-79 = 83%
All energy companies publicly owned
BP publicly owned
British Steel publicly owned
BA publicly owned
National bus company publicly owned
GPO (including telecommunications) publicly owned
Re-introduce the 50p rate of tax on the highest earners
Create at least one publicly-owned energy company in every region of the UK, with public control of the transmission and distribution grids.
No plan to renationalise telecommunications
This methodology would put Corbyn to the right of Ted Heath as well.
You could add build council houses & bring in rent controls. Housing is probably the biggest issue that needs quickest possible solution. After that bringing rail back into public ownership as franchises expire but you need to cut Jezza some slack here Danny. If he wants to be in government he does not want to give the tories & tory mainstream media any ammo whatsoever. He is walking on glass here. Labour need to plan the next GE campaign very carefully indeed. Work to get Labour into power & then we will see.
What I am criticising is your politics which makes getting the LP into government as the end, making the LP the agent of change. If a Labour government (re)introduces some measure of social democracy great, but it won't be the LP that has brought that around anymore than it was the LP that introduced the welfare state in the first place.
But as has been pointed out to you multiple times now the past history of the LP (and it's sister parties) show that the LP, whether in government or in opposition, has repeatedly betrayed and sold out the working class, from the support for WWI, during the general strike, the Callaghan governments anti-trade union legislation, the selling out of the miners, etc, etc. The LP moves to the left when it's forced by labour to move to the left.
And this is a perfect example of how your helping the LP to it's future betrayal. We can't do that, we have to get into power (incidentally this is exactly the same LP supporters used for Blair, just wait until he's in power, then we'll see real changes!), then it's we have to stay in power. And while this is going on Labour councils are attacking workers, cutting services and selling off community assets.
It's one thing to argue that the LP is the best vehicle for socialist politics and attempt to push it to the left, it's another thing to simply throw aside any socialist politics to get the LP in government.
So who do we elect if we cannot elect Labour? It’s a genuine question that I & a few million others would like to know. Realistically you will not get change quickly. It will have to be done slowly & carefully. I think the time is now because the political process that started around 1980 has run it’s course. What we have in the UK now is the failure of that process visible in plain sight. One cannot realistically argue anything can be salvaged from it.
We have a divided society. Those who have prospered from the process years ago & have paid for houses & assets that they fear being devalued. They mostly do not want change. Then the other half of mostly younger people who have been priced out of the current process & would vote for change. Probably if a very astute campaign is fought at next GE that change can happen.
So what happens then? If we believe a next Labour government will be no better than a next Tory government then what to do?
And Thatcher for about the first decade.
theres been the lurch rightward. Kill me for saying it but 'the overten window shifted so much over the last 40 yrs the papers could with a straight face portray milkwater soc/dec policies from corbyn and mcdonnel as rampant stalinism'
Tories trying to strike fear into voters by accusing Labour of being marxists is nothing new but I think now it won’t work. It won’t scare enough voters anymore. I did google overton window btw.
C/f my points about the post war consensus.
And again you're reducing politics to party politics.
Yes. So I am. Are you suggesting change cannot happen through the ballot box? What is the way forward here & now in the UK then? It is the question I asked you in #320.
I would have preferred to have had the UK within the EU and its Socialists seeking to bring about a European Community more like what Willy Brandt was after having, or which Podemos are keen on. Something like Syriza's vision:
"As for the E.U., SYRIZA denounces the dominant extreme neoliberal policies and believes that it must be and can be transformed radically in the direction of a democratic, social, peaceful, ecological and feminist Europe, open to a future of socialism with democracy and freedom. That is why SYRIZA is for cooperation and coordinated action of the left forces and social movements on an all-European scale. In any case, we do not hold euro-centric views and reject a "fortress Europe" "
I still think that at some future point if this looked like happening the British left would be minded to join again.
By the same token if the EU insists on its current form then the UK under Labour could at least propose a kind of Nordic Model, and make a big deal out of how this sets it apart from neo-liberal Europe. I dare say this is not unlike what they are proposing, if so the message is not getting across.
In my youth I would have considered European Social Democracy (not Shirley and Company, who I still despise) a nasty fudge, but looking back we see Brandt quietly introducing worker's participation in businesses while we planned a revolution that never happened. Meanwhile Norway was creating this situation:
"The state of Norway has ownership stakes in many of the country's largest publicly listed companies, owning 37% of the Oslo stock-market, and operates the country's largest non-listed companies including Statoil and Statkraft. The Economist reports that "after the second world war the government nationalised all German business interests in Norway and ended up owning 44% of Norsk Hydro's shares. The formula of controlling business through shares rather than regulation seemed to work well, so the government used it wherever possible. "We invented the Chinese way of doing things before the Chinese," says Torger Reve of the Norwegian Business School.
The government also operates a sovereign wealth fund, the Government Pension Fund of Norway—whose partial objective is to prepare Norway for a post-oil future. But "unusually among oil-producing nations, it is also a big advocate of human rights—and a powerful one, thanks to its control of the Nobel peace prize."
If you can accept that Capitalism is not going to be overthrown in the near future and that lamp-posts are not going to be festooned with the boss-class, either literally or metaphorically, just yet then a Britain that progressive forces in Europe would admire and seek to emulate would be the way to go.
Getting a Labour government under Corbyn would be similar to Brexit in that it would be a disruption to the normal way of doing things in Neoliberal Britain, it would to some extent open up opportunities for working people to get a bit of breathing space and get organised to build self confidence. So it would be a good thing, but it would hardly herald a massive advance for the working class, just as Brexit didn’t.
Whether we take advantage of the opportunities is another matter, the extra parliamentary left certainly wasn’t in a position to take advantage of Brexit.
I'm suggesting that your reduction of politics to party politics is a regressive position that attempts to force the working class to take the correct political avenues, it illustrates why liberalism and socialism are opposed.
And for all your dislike of New Labour you are employing the exact same arguments they used against Corbyn and co, that the Labour Party exists to be in government and that the labour movement exists to put the Labour Party in government.
Yes. I can read what you are writing. Now please tell me your solution to here & now in the UK? How would you deliver what is needed for the lower paid? How would you put a government in place that might build council houses put in rent controls & raise benefit levels to avoid impoverishing the most vunerable in society?
I would say that putting Labour as it is now into government is the most viable way of achieving the above. There are no guarantees about anything in life but I’m seeing that as the only achievable way in the short term.
The work would need to start straight after the next general election & results would need to be visible in the shortest possible time. Legislation covering benefits & rent controls could be brought in very quickly. Seeing new council estates rising from the ground in good numbers might take a few years but one would expect visible progress in a couple of years. This sort of thing is not a pipe dream it is definitely achievable by a UK government with the will to drive it through.
You seem utterly dismissive of all this & clearly you have an alternative plan so please post up it.
Separate names with a comma.